Southwark London Borough Council, ex parte Melak [1996] 29 HLR 223 (QBD)

Fettering of discretion – rigid policies – exceptions

A local housing authority’s allocation scheme operated to fetter the authority’s discretion. The policy, relating to rent arrears, was applied inflexibly such that the authority was unable to consider all relevant matters in reaching a decision. The purported exception to the arrears rule (that some people in a priority category would be excepted) was not an exception at all, but simply a part of the rule itself, and did not indicate whether those in a non-priority category who were in rent arrears would have their applications dealt with on their merits.

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